Usable Cybersecurity

Our Team

Picture of Yee-Yin ChoongYee-Yin Choong is a Human Factors Scientist in the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Yee-Yin conducts research in the areas of user-centered design and evaluation methodology, public safety communications, usable cybersecurity, biometrics usability, human factors, and cognitive engineering. She has contributed to numerous papers, book chapters and conferences on the topics of user-centered design and evaluation, cross-cultural usability, symbols and icons design, biometrics symbology, and usable cybersecurity. Prior to joining NIST in 2006, she practiced usability engineering in the private sector for 10 years, covering areas such as telecommunications, Business-to-Business eCommerce, Web-based applications, and software internationalization. Yee-Yin received her MS degree in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and her PhD in Industrial Engineering, specialized in Human Factors from Purdue University.


Shanee DawkinsShaneé Dawkins is a Computer Scientist in the Visualization and Usability Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As a usability research scientist, Shaneé applies her knowledge of human computer interaction and human centered computing to the fields of public safety communications and usable security. Shaneé earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Human Centered Computing Lab at Auburn University, and B.S. in Computer Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. She has previous research experience in the design and development of evaluation guidelines and standards for machine translation technologies, electronic voting systems, and usable privacy.


Picture of Susanne FurmanSusanne Furman is a Cognitive Scientist in the US National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Visualization and Usability Group. She works on and investigates usability for both cybersecurity and biometric devices for agencies such as the US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Furman has worked at the US Department of Health and Human Services and ran its usability program. She has a PhD in applied experimental psychology human factors from George Mason University. 


Picture of Kristen GreeneKristen Greene is a Cognitive Scientist in the Visualization and Usability Group at NIST. She conducts usability and human factors research for NIST’s PSCR (Public Safety Communications Research) and usable cybersecurity programs. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Rice University. She is an experienced researcher, having conducted research in the Attention and Perception Laboratory at the University of South Carolina, the Usability Testing and Analysis Facility at NASA Johnson Space Center, the Computer Human Interaction Laboratory at Rice University, and now the Information Technology Laboratory at NIST. 


Picture of Julie HaneyJulie Haney is a Computer Scientist in the Visualization and Usability Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She conducts research about human aspects of cybersecurity and privacy, including the usability and adoption of security solutions. Previously she spent over 20 years working at Department of Defense as a security professional and technical leader primarily in the cyber defense mission. She has a B.S. in Computer Science from Loyola University Maryland and an M.S. in Computer Science from University of Maryland. She also earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


Mary TheofanosMary Theofanos is a Computer Scientist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Materials Measurement Laboratory where she performs research on usability and human factors of systems.  Mary is the principal architect of the Usability and Security Program evaluating the usability of cyber security and biometric systems. She established the Biometrics Usability Program for the federal government, the first open research program to incorporate usability into biometrics research, elevating usability to a recognized critical component of biometrics research and developing standards for SC37.  She is currently the project lead for the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) usability effort evaluating human factors and usability of PSCR technology and  the Program Manager of the Industry Usability Reporting (IUSR) Project developing standards for usability.  She represents NIST on the ISO JTC1 SC7 TAG and is Co-Convener of WG 28 on usability of software systems.


Detailees and Students


Jody Jacobs pictureJody Jacobs is a Computer Scientist on detail to the Visualization and Usability Group from the FISMA team in the Computer Security Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She is assisting with phishing and security awareness training. Previously she spent over 20 years working in the private sector in security networking, network and systems operations and business continuity. She is a member of the NIST FISMA team which produce key security standards and guidelines required by Congressional legislation.  She is also chair of the Federal Computer Security Managers Forum. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Rochester and an M.S. in Information Systems from Strayer University.


Fern Barrientos pictureFern Barrientos is a student trainee in the the Visualization and Usability Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He’s part of a research team working to understand the difficulties humans face when dealing with predatory communication practices. Fern has previous research experience with trust in automation, autonomous vehicles, and traumatic brain injuries, and is working towards completing his M.A. in Human Factors and Applied Cognition at George Mason University. 



image of Olivia MurphyOlivia Murphy is a doctoral candidate and teacher educator at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include secondary literacy and secondary literacy teacher education with a focus on social justice and equity; her dissertation research focuses on investigating the teacher identities  and pedagogical practices of high school critical literacy educators. At NIST, Olivia works on projects investigating youth cybersecurity and privacy perceptions/behaviors, and her interest in this research—and all research involving youth knowledge and education—is fueled by her previous life as a high school literacy teacher in Brooklyn, NY.

Created November 17, 2016, Updated September 21, 2020